January 25, 2011

Wearing my MOM hat

I had THE TALK with my girls this week.   I know it's a beautiful thing and {blah, blah blah} but I was nervous as all get out.   I even tried bribing my mom into doing it for me.  
Just kidding.  
Sort of. 

I knew this was an important milestone of mothering. There is so much resting on that one conversation.  I hadn't planned on talking to them about it together, but the boys were out of town, and I just felt like it was time.  My younger daughter's friends had spilled the beans (not to her, but to some other girls) so I wanted to make sure I was the one who was able to explain it.  Even though it wasn't my plan, I was all for the 2-for-1 package deal. :)

If you haven't had the conversation yet, here's a tip:  GET CHICKENS
Seriously.  Having an animal totally helps.  My kids had been asking questions like, "what if we crack an egg and there's a chick in there?"  I found a series of books that approaches the whole subject from a Biblical, yet naturalistic approach.  The first book is about butterflies and bees and pollination.  The second is about birds and eggs.  I read the first two books to all three of my kids.  The third takes it further and is written for the preteen.  

I highly recommend this series.  I didn't want a book that had drawings or pictures to fill their minds with unnecessary images.  This series was beautiful, protected their innocence, and answered (most) of their questions.  It was a great way to open up dialogue without going too far.

What did I learn?
1.No two children will respond to this information the same.  One burst into hysterical giggles and the other scrunched her nose in disgust and said, "really??"
2.The anticipation of having this talk is much worse than the actual event
3.Plan for plenty of time.  I thought it would be a thirty minute conversation, max.  Um.  No.
4. Surprisingly, your children do not look at you like you have two heads for the following week.  
5. Being the one to have this conversation with your daughter is a gift, contrary to what I previously thought.  This was a moment we won't forget.  As they get older, they will remember that I loved them enough to step past my uneasiness and talk.  When they are adults, we will look back on this day with giggles of our own, bonded by the strong chord of womanhood.


Richella said...

I don't think it's a coincidence that some of the hardest things we do as mothers are some of the most memorable. I'm glad your talk went well! I pray that there are lots of mothers like you having these talks with their beautiful daughters. . . and that some day three of them will be my beautiful daughters-in-law!

It's a good thing we get paid so much for our work, huh?

Mom said...

You are such a blessing! I wish I could have been a "fly on the wall" (but I probably would have laughed so hard that they would have heard me! I mean, at the responses...)
It is so neat to establish that you are trustworthy when they have more questions & that it's okay to talk to you about these things.
And your mom already had her turn at this...LOL!!

Joy for the Seasons said...

Oh man, this is our year to have "the talk". As a nurse, I have no qualms talking about it. But I am almost sure *I* will be the one erupting into giggles. What is it about "serious" subjects that makes me want to laugh? I am encouraged that yours went so well!

Tracey said...

I was doing just fine when I was 'talking'..right up until she asked "so, is that when y'all lock your door?"


But I didn't. I laughed. She waited for the answer. ;)

This summer it will be time to talk to daughter number 2. Thanks for the reminder to start praying for the right time and right words..because, you are so right, every child is different!

Bugs and Sunshine said...

Oh wow! What an example you are to the mama's of girls. It is a strange feeling that I'll never have this talk. Strange in a great way ;) haha!

Carpool Queen said...

I've been having snippets of conversations with my boys - surprisingly on different levels even though they're the same age.

I'll have to finish the conversation soon because I just got the notice in the school folders that they'll be covering what the school system thinks they ought to know next quarter.

Better get my side of the story in first.

Anonymous said...

Oh, perfect timing of this post! I have been planning to have the talk with all 3 of my girls together as soon as we have a weekend with a free moment. I was wishing for a good book -- or better yet, a script!! I'm going to try to find those books today.

Kay @ Off the Beaten Path said...

Gretchen, that conversation and the event I planned for it will forever stick with me. My daughter and I were cuddled up in my bed and the boys were away. And I pulled out a book I had chosen and we talked. And then my daughter burst, not into laughter, but into tears! She didn't want to grow up! And I knew that. Both of my children have always enjoyed being children. Even my college age son tells me occasionally that he wishes he could just go back and ride bikes with his friend down the street and come home to cookies and lemonade. So I shouldn't have been shocked at Abby's response, but I was taken aback a little. Still we muddled through.

Now she is a beautiful young woman and we still have very open conversations -- like last night's when she told me she had been invited to her first party with alcohol! Oh my. Of course she had already turned it down, but it did my heart good to know she told me about it.

Keep talking!

Rachel said...

Great post! I'm wondering, for those of us who have a boy as a firstborn, about how this discussion will go. Same books? I'm thinking this talk might be in *Daddy* territory. Thankfully we've still got some time to figure it out!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff and so timely. G-man asked at Christmas what a virgin was. Then one day on the way home from school one day he asked what is puberity? The answers he got to both of those questions reflected the much younger sister riding in the car. A later conversation with him, explaning that if wants to be seen as "mature" (like the rating of the games he'd like to own) he needs to ask those questions between 8-9 when his sister is in bed. I was going to look into Passport to Purity.

Mom said...

Just in case any moms of sons read this... sometimes it is the mom who has "the talk" with a son rather than a dad. For some dads, it is just too big a hurdle ( so they may put it off too long...) & the mom may have an easy relationship with her son that leads to those conversations. And I made that plural because it isn't just one conversation... as I'm sure you ALL know.